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20 Jul, 2009 02:24

Memorial services mourns Iran plane crash victims

Relatives have held a memorial service in St. Sarkis church in Tehran to remember the 45 passengers from Iran’s Armenian community who died in Wednesday’s plane crash.

Hundreds of Armenian Christians and some Iranian members of parliament gathered Sunday at the Tehran church to mourn the victims of the tragedy.

The service to remember 168 victims of the crash has also been held in Armenia. The country’s Prime Minister, Tigran Sarkisyan, and other top officials attended the ceremony.

The Russian-made Tupolev aircraft crashed just 16 minutes after take-off from Tehran International airport while heading to Armenia.

All 153 passengers and 15 crew died. Among them were Iranian, Georgian and Armenian citizens.

The jet was completely destroyed – and the badly damaged flight recorders are still being examined for clues about the crash.

Wednesday's accident is the first-ever loss of a Caspian Airlines aircraft since its founding in 1993.